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2016 accident data has many negative signs

The U.S. Department of Transportation released traffic data a little while back about the 2016 year, and how many fatalities occurred that year. According to the data, 37,461 people died in 2016, marking a significant increase over the previous year (5.6 percent). And 2015 was also an increase over the year before that. Within these numbers though, there are some positive signs. For example, distraction-related deaths and drowsy-driving deaths both declined (by 2.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively).

However, for those two bright spots, there are also many negative signs in the data. As examples, drunk driving deaths, speeding-related deaths, deaths resulting from not wearing a seat belt all increased (by 1.7 percent, 4 percent, and 4.6 percent respectively). Motorcyclist deaths jumped to a level not seen since 2008, and both pedestrian and bicycle deaths increased too.

There is little to celebrate here. What is clear is that conditions out on the road have not gotten better over the last few years. To the contrary, they are starting to reach levels that haven't been seen in a decade. Far too many drivers are out on the road in dangerous positions and in unsafe mental states. As a result, far too many people are dying in the U.S. out on the road.

When motor vehicle accidents occur, the victims have a choice to make. Their rights and interests are at risk, and if a negligent driver was involved, they should consider their legal options.

Source: NHTSA, "USDOT Releases 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data," Accessed Jan. 18, 2018

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